Touch by Tracey S. Rosenberg
Published in The Lumen, Issue 1, 2014.
He loved stroking her body awake in the giddy dawn.
His fingers wandered her stretch marks,
the freckles she despised, her generous breasts,
belly, thick sticky hair
he never delved into without trembling –
she might find him intrusive, jig her smooth hips
to spill him back onto the sheets.
When she murmured, turned towards him,
marking his shoulder blades with her fingers,
she always reshaped her body
to allow him in.
The doctors’ fleshy hands are gloved. Through latex
they adjust her skin by inches.
The surgeon’s finger stands in for the blade:
it will remove her, just here.
He keeps his helpless hands still.
This is not his body.
Tracey S. Rosenberg is the author of the historical novel The Girl in the Bunker (2011) and a poetry pamphlet, Lipstick is Always a Plus (2012). Her poems have been published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association.